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song review

song review

Greg Bates
Rick Diamond, Getty Images
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Greg Bates, ‘Fill in the Blank’ – Song Review

Greg Bates flashes a mischievous sense of humor in his new single 'Fill in the Blank.' The 'Did It for the Girl' hitmaker is proving to be from the George Strait school of music, but he must have taken a Master Class on Tracy Byrd somewhere along the way.

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Parmalee
Stoney Creek Records
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Parmalee, ‘Carolina’ – Song Review

"Polished" is not a word one would have used to describe Parmalee after the North Carolina foursome shared their debut single 'Musta Had a Good Time' in 2012, but the rowdy country rockers' follow-up single 'Carolina' is as radio-friendly of a track as you'll find. It's not clear that either style is a perfect fit for the Thomas brothers and their bandmates.

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Lady Antebellum
Capitol Nashville
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Lady Antebellum, ‘Downtown’ – ToC Critic’s Pick [Listen]

Lady Antebellum have never been funkier than on their new single 'Downtown' -- the first from the trio's upcoming fourth studio album. A guitar lick postmarked 1962 steers the song and pushes the band in an exciting new direction.

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Jake Owen
RCA Nashville
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Jake Owen, ‘Anywhere With You’ – Song Review

Jake Owen found his niche with songs from the 'Barefoot Blue Jean Night' album, but the unidirectional theme is wearing thin with the arrival of his new single 'Anywhere With You.' There's a thread of spontaneity and nostalgia throughout all of Owen's most recent hits. He is the essence of carefree, which is refreshing... but no longer surprising. 

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Eric Church
EMI Nashville
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Eric Church, ‘Like Jesus Does’ – Song Review

Eric Church has released his most devoted love song from 'Chief' as the album's fifth single. 'Like Jesus Does' reveals the singer's vulnerabilities in a way none of his previous ballads have done. Like 'Springsteen,' reference is made to famous classic rock standards, giving the song some familiarity even before a first listen is finished. 

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Billy Ray Cyrus
Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images
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Billy Ray Cyrus, ‘Hillbilly Heart’ – Song Review

Billy Ray Cyrus evokes sounds of the Mississippi Delta with his new single 'Hillbilly Heart.' The song leans against a big, bad, foot-stompin' guitar lick before the singer reveals his best blues voice. The result is ugly ... in a good way. 

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Florida Georgia Line
Mark Davis, Getty Images
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Florida Georgia Line, ‘Get Your Shine On’ – Song Review

Florida Georgia Line wasted no time following their infectious debut single with one that cements the duo as the good-time country party band they introduced themselves as. 'Get Your Shine On' had already charted before 'Cruise' reached No. 1. Both rely on a big, fat hook and songwriting that's sharper than they'll get credit for.

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Blake Shelton
Charley Gallay, Getty Images
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Blake Shelton, ‘Sure Be Cool if You Did’ – Song Review

Between tour dates, a Christmas album, 'The Voice' and his bad Twitter habit, Blake Shelton found time to record a new single called 'Sure Be Cool if You Did' in 2012. He released the song minutes after the new year began, leaving many to wonder when a new album will follow (no plans have been announced). Sonically, his 23rd radio offering is a continuation those from 'Red River Blue' -- it'd fit nicely as the project's fifth single. 

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RaeLynn
Republic Nashville
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RaeLynn, ‘Boyfriend’ – Song Review

Don't trust that grapefruit-sized flower growing from RaeLynn's platinum blonde hair. This girl and her first single 'Boyfriend' are absolute country trouble with a capital "T." But rarely has trouble sounded this much fun.

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Easton Corbin
Merucry Nashville
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Easton Corbin, ‘All Over the Road’ – Song Review

It didn't take much -- maybe just a pinch or a skosh -- but the spice added to Easton Corbin's new song 'All Over the Road' will leave fans and followers looking at him a bit differently. It's wholesome enough to be mother-approved, but saucy enough to leave daughters interested.

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Rascal Flatts
Big Machine Records
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Rascal Flatts, ‘Changed’ – Song Review

'Changed,' the new single from Rascal Flatts, feels more personal than anything the trio has released up to this point in their decade-plus long career. The song, the title track from their 2012 album, was co-written by Gary LeVox, who talks about his relationship with God instead of just using his name conversationally as he's done in songs before.

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Kix Brooks
Arista Nashville
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Kix Brooks, ‘Moonshine Road’ – Song Review

Kix Brooks takes a trip back to Lake Bistineau in his new semi-autobiographical single 'Moonshine Road.' The singer says the cut is based on a spot he and his trouble-making friends would take to at night. The steam is still fresh on this swampy, country-blues cut. Memories of his Moonshine Road aren't thick with moss, even though it's been a few decades since those hell-raising years.

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